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BP again replaces oil & gas reserves by more than 100%
Feb '08
BP p.l.c. announced an increase of 25 per cent in its quarterly dividend, taking it to a level 31 per cent higher than a year ago. Chief Executive Tony Hayward said the rise reflected the company's increasingly robust view of the future and greater confidence in its ability to deliver sustained dividend income to shareholders.

The move also marks a shift in the balance between dividends and buybacks as a means of returning value to shareholders. BP said the repurchase of its own stock over the past eight years had shrunk its equity base by some 16 per cent, making a higher dividend more affordable. Hayward said the company would continue to buy back its shares, as appropriate.

BP again replenished its oil and gas reserves by more than its annual production, the 14th consecutive year it has reported reserves replacement in excess of 100 per cent, excluding acquisitions and divestments, a track record described by Hayward as “among the very best in our industry”.

The company said it had also lifted its crude price assumption from $40 to some $60 a barrel for planning purposes but would continue to benchmark projects to be robust at lower prices.

BP reported replacement cost profits, excluding non-operating items, of some $4 billion for the final quarter of 2007, a fall of one per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2006, bringing results for the year as a whole to $17.6 billion.

“Although our fourth-quarter profits were very disappointing in refining and marketing in particular, we made good, step-by-step progress in bringing new oil and gas fields on stream and rebuilding refining capacity during the period,” Hayward said.

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Hayward said BP's upstream business had secured access to major new sources of oil and gas in Oman, Libya and Canada, underpinning confidence in future growth.

BP p.l.c.

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